Sometimes having to work away from home for a couple of weeks means having the opportunity to do the only things that you have brought with you in your leisure time. Fortunately for me I decided to take three travelling bags of paints and tools and a regiment of unpainted cavalry.
These are the 12th Dragoons (2nd Brandenburg) who were part of the Prussian 2nd Army. I rather like the deeper carmine distinguishing colour compared with red.
The figures were made by Wargames Foundry who still even after over quarter of a century of having brought out their Franco-Prussian War range, still have one of the most comprehensive 28mm ranges out. Unfortunately their are many gaps in the range, not least in commanders, but also in trumpeters and standard bearers. I could have performed conversion work but did not feel inclined to do so - partly because I would then have to do the same for every cavalry regiment.
The figures were mostly painted with the Foundry triad range of paints but with a good smattering of Vallejo and some 'Miniature Paints' -particularly No.81 Leather Brown which all the reins & bridles were painted with.
Unfortunately and despite my very best efforts I wasn't quite able to complete the figures when I was away. I still needed about 4 hours worth of touching up of detail and then the basing work when I got home. As usual with 28mm figures, I just can't stop trying to improve my work. It is no wonder that after starting this collection over 22 years ago, this is only my third Prussian cavalry regiment in my collection. Future ranges will be in a smaller scale for sure!
In many ways I wish I had started my Franco Prussian range in 6mm (or 10mm). The reason being is that the battles tended to be huge and there seemed to be little in the way of brigade battles as such. Certainly the English source material only really mention the larger battles, though no doubt there were many skirmishes. There just doesn't seem to be much written up which would provide good material for a Division vs Division action - unless taken as part of one of the large battles.
I am trying to read what contemporary memoirs I can to try to create some scenarios which would fill this gap. Although not a memoir, I finally got around to reading Emile Zola's 'The Debacle' which I understood contained detailed and atmospheric descriptions of a Bavarian attack near Sedan. If you plan on reading this book (and I read the Penguin version), DO NOT read the translator's notes at the beginning - it gives away the entire plot and what happens to all of the key characters including the big twist at the end (which came as no surprise to me as I had read the Translator's notes!).
Also avoid listening to 80's bands such as The Smith's and The Cure whilst reading the book, as it is darned depressing and just swims in a thick sticky treacle of tragedy. A combination of the music and the book cannot be good for one's health. Admittedly the description of the Bavarian attack is pretty good though!
Having just looked at the photos again, I think that even if I had collected FPW figures in 6mm, I would still have got these figures. There is something about the 28mm Foundry range which is magnificent. From the French infantry in their massive packs to the great sculpts of the Prussian cavalry, these figures inspire the imagination.
As if I wasn't obsessed enough with my painting, I have been making labels to go on the magnetic bottomed stands of my figures. I used PVA glue to attach the labels then coated a thin coat of PVA over the top of the label to give it strength. This seems to work well and the magnetic base only seems to lose about 10% of it's ability to cling to the steel floor sheets of their box, so well worth doing.
So what next? I am sat here asking myself the same question. I have painted a number of things in the last few weeks which I will post up in due course. But as for what I shall paint next - we shall see- it could be anything!